Diablo 4 vs Diablo 3 Sales: Here Is What We Know

The initial excitement is over. Let's see if Diablo 4 lived up to the expectations set by its predecessor. ๐Ÿ‘พ


Are you curious about what we discovered on the sales of Diablo 4 vs Diablo 3? We indeed were, and some findings can easily blow up your mind. Two record-breaking games from Blizzard certainly marked 2012 and 2023, the years they were respectively released.

Comparison of initial sales

Diablo 3 sold more than 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours. Another important detail is that additional 1.2 million copies were claimed for free, bundled with the World of Warcraft Annual Pass. This brings us to the final figure of 4.7 million copies in the first 24 hours, according to the Diablo 3 press release published a week after release.

There is no official announcement about the number of Diablo 4 copies sold within the first 24 hours. However, Blizzard confirmed Diablo 4 is the fastest-selling game in the series, meaning that it had more than 3.5 million sales made by Diablo 3 and more than 3.7 million sales made by Shadowlands.

Total sales analysis

๐Ÿ’Ž Comparing two diamonds is never easy, especially when they come from the same series! Diablo 3 was the best-selling game in 2012, with 12 million copies sold. Blizzard announced that Diablo 4, their fastest-selling title, took this position!

Last official announcement from 2015 states that over 30 million copies of Diablo 3 were sold.

Ten years after the initial release, Rod Fergusson, the director of the Diablo franchise, Tweeted that the game reached 65 million players. Although this number canโ€™t be directly related to the number of sold copies, it shows how the game grew over the past decade.

Since revealing Diablo 4 had $666 million in revenue in the first five days, roughly 9 to 10 million copies, Activision Blizzard is keeping us in the dark about the number of sold copies. This estimate is expected to snowball until the following announcement on the number of sold Diablo 4 copies.

Revenue comparison

Activision Blizzard confirms that Diablo 4 hit a symbolic $666 million in sales within five days of its release! Millions of players worldwide contributed to the astonishing success of Diablo 4 initial days. Worth mentioning is that this is a sum of selling copies across all platforms for which the game is available.

Although the official data for Diablo 3 wasn’t available then, and the total revenue is difficult to calculate after more than a decade since the game’s release, it’s safe to say that Diablo 3 was a huge financial success for the company and its stakeholders.

๐Ÿ’ก Speaking about the company, in 2008, four years before the release of Diablo 3, Blizzard Entertainment merged with Activision, forming Activision Blizzard. In January 2023, Microsoft announced acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This tells a lot about the success of the company and its game series.

The last aspect to consider is the price of a game copy. Here we can also see how the gaming industry evolved over the decade. From delivering DLCs and additional content on physical DVDs and BluRays to making the extensions exclusively digital.

Let’s see Diablo 4 vs. Diablo 3 sales prices on the release day:

Diablo 3Diablo 4
$59.99 Standard Edition$69.99 Standard Edition
N/A$89.99 Digital Deluxe Edition
$99.99 Collector’s Edition$99.99 Ultimate Edition

As you can see, not much changed in the pricing model, although the Standard Edition did get $10 more expensive. Adjusted for inflation, the verdict is that Diablo 4 has more than a decent price tag compared to a previous game from the series.

Player engagement

The first week of the Diablo 4 release was dynamic, with 276 million hours of gameplay! After seven days, 6,236 players earned Level 100, and 163 became Level 100 Hardcore players. Hardcore mode means that the progress is lost when the player dies.

On the other hand, no official data was made public to account for the hours made by 6.3 million players in the first week of Diablo 3.

๐Ÿงฎ Even if every Diablo 3 copy sold in the first week was played 24/7, it would account for over 150 million hours, much less than the impressive 276 million hours Diablo 4.

If we shift focus to the Beta versions, the verdict is simple. Diablo 4 is the biggest Beta in the entire Diablo series, including Diablo 3, with 62 million hours of playtime. That’s more than 70,700 years!

Worth mentioning is that Diablo 3 playtime for the first year after the release was 2.8 billion hours, as stated in the Diablo III 1-year infographics. Numbers point out that Diablo 4 will reach this number much quicker and that the first anniversary of the game’s release will be celebrated with more gameplay hours.

Besides the total hours invested in playing the most popular titles from the Diablo series, another factor is involved – How enjoyable was it? Here is what popular game review platforms say on a scale from 1 to 10:

Platform distribution

The controversy about the platforms on which Diablo 4 is available is that it doesn’t have a Mac edition. Although gamers usually prefer Windows for PC gaming, many are left behind. They must use various methods to get Diablo 4 on their Mac computer.

In the table below, you can see on which platforms Diablo 3 and Diablo 4 are available:

PlatformDiablo 3 Diablo 4
PlayStation 3โœ…โŒ
PlayStation 4โœ…โœ…
PlayStation 5โŒโœ…
Xbox 360โœ…โŒ
Xbox Oneโœ…โœ…
Xbox Series S | XโŒโœ…

Besides the already mentioned controversy with excluding the Apple computers from Diablo 4 platforms, there is a noticeable shift to newer PS and Xbox consoles. Considering the 11-year gap between the release of two Diablo games, this is a reasonable transition.

Another significant difference between Diablo 3 and Diablo 4 appears in the middle of the platform discussion. The latest Diablo release brought an anticipated cross-play feature, allowing gamers across different consoles and PC to play together!

This means you don’t have to worry about how many players play Diablo 4 on your platform. You can easily cross-play with your friends, although they play on a console and you are a hardcore PC gamer.

Community discussions

Let’s wrap up by checking what matters the most! What the Diablo community has to say, what they notice about Diablo sales, and how they compare the two latest releases from the series.

First, we must agree with many Reddit users who commented on Blizzard’s transparency immediately after its release. Besides stating the revenue and other in-game stats, the company still didn’t publicly announce the number of sold copies. At the same time, it claims Diablo 4 as the fastest-selling game ever.

The curiosity is that one week after the Diablo 3 release, Blizzard came up with detailed numbers on how many copies were sold and obtained through WOW Annual Pass. The Diablo community agrees that considerably more Diablo 4 copies are sold digitally than Diablo 3. Blizzard should better understand the number of sold copies but doesn’t announce it to the public.

At the same time, some believe that Diablo 4 still isn’t profitable. Assuming it is true, it makes the fact that the company isn’t publically announcing the sales data reasonable. Considering that the price tag for the standard edition increased by only $10, expenses could easily exceed this increase.

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Zooming out and seeing the true scope of Diablo 4 vs. Diablo 3 sales comparison comes with many factors. Starting from the different eras of gaming, the slightly increased price for the Standard Edition, and finally, the shift between several generations of consoles.

One thing is for sure – Blizzard did it again! They managed to create a lot of noise about the latest Diablo game. It resulted in an epic game beta, early access, and release. We will impatiently wait for Blizzard to publish some concrete numbers to extend the discussion further.

๐Ÿ’ฌ What are your thoughts? Do you think Blizzard is hiding something by not announcing the numbers? Are they patiently waiting for the game to become profitable?

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